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Talk:International relations

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This International relations related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


India and Pakistan have not gone to war since getting nuclear weapons. Researcher (talk) 12:08, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Critical Theory[edit]

If no one objects, I'd like to expand the Critical theory section a bit since it seems to be sorely lacking in substance. Whereas the other theories seem adequately fleshed out for the purpose of giving a layman a good view of the subject, Critical theory seems to lack even the acknowledgement that "Critical theory" is a blanket term for a variety of offshoots including Constructivism (although, Constructivism certainly still deserves its own section considering its uniqueness.) Critical theory distinguishes itself from the other theories, especially Realism and Liberalism, by holding that these theories have implicit biases called problematics, such as the notion that states are and will always remain the central and dominant actors. Neo-Marxist Critical theorists like Robert W. Cox would argue that this is not necessarily the case, as history is in a constant state of flux. Focus is given to dialects (or in Post-structuralist Feminism, identities/roles) and determining the locus of power in the international system through discerning the dominate ideas/norms, institutions and material capabilities. To assume that locus of power will always remain with states is ahistorical and could blind International Relations theorists from moments of punctuated equilibrium like the collapse of the USSR, according to Critical theorists.

The section is fairly accurate in stating that Critical theorists are typically concerned with "increasing freedom," or rather with universal human emancipation. They claim that all theory is created by some one for some purpose, and that unlike problem-solving theories like Realism and Liberalism, the Critical theorists are coming right out into the open and declaring their biases in an intellectually honest manner. Its also fairly accurate in that Critical theorists tend to act more like a gadfly to the other theories, trying to point out their biases and limitations. They also claim that Critical theory is unable to make binding predictions, because of the uncertain nature of history and the deep complexity and nuance of the international system. Rather, a critical theorist would conceive of several outcomes to a given situation based on historical imperatives and the contemporary conditions.

Anyway, I feel a modest expansion is due considering how pitiful Critical theory's section is in comparison with the others. I tend to identify with Critical theory myself, so I'd be willing to expand it with the information I feel is necessary for a layman to properly understand what Critical theorists are all about. International Relations may not be the most exciting or obviously pertinent topic to RationalWiki, but how states and non-state actors interact in the international system is of grave importance to every person on the planet and establishing a rational view of it would probably go a long way in giving an alternative framework for global power systems to anyone flirting with Illuminati-related hijinks (even if those hijinks aren't TOO far off from a Neo-Marxist view, sans demonic/masonic/zionist paranoia.)— Unsigned, by: Baronvladdy / talk / contribs